MILLBURY, Mass. — The full liquor license for Puffins was pulled Tuesday night by the Millbury Board of Selectmen because the restaurant was not using it to its full extent.
Puffins has been in business in Millbury for more than 20 years and is owned by Karen McGovern. But for nearly half of that time, according to Selectman Francis King, the restaurant has not been using the license properly.
In January, the board referenced letters written to McGovern from 2001, 2002 and 2011 stating that if she didn't use the license for the hours specified, the town reserved the right to withdraw it.
In the spring and summer, Puffins expanded its hours, which were specified in the ABC’s (Alcohol Beverage Board) license. But Puffins hasn’t been keeping its hours recently because McGovern was in an auto accident, said her husband, who represented her at the Tuesday meeting.
But her husband also said she had been working long hours to train a new chef, which prompted Selectman Brian Stowell to ask, “If she can work training a new chef, then why can’t she appear here?”
Stowell then made a motion to pull the full liquor license, which passed after a short discussion. But tempers flared between board members after the meeting.
Two members argued in the hallway outside of the meeting room, with one member accusing Stowell of “grandstanding for the cameras.” But Stowell said, "Something needed to be done.”
Puffins has the right to appeal the decision or to be granted a beer and wine license, which was offered in January and in the summer.